Le dernier éclat - in memoriam Yvonne Quinzii
"The last burst - in memoriam Yvonne Quinzii"


text by Max Loreau (« the test » ed Fata Morgana) and liturgy of the dead.

Although this piece is not a mass requiem, it gets very close to it as the architecture of the mass for the dead was envisaged and it follows the progress of its main sections.


Double hommage:

To Yvonne Quinzii (1940-2003), spouse but also creation accomplice

About this complicity, Guy Erismann said « in twenty years, the common work of Yvonne Quinzii and Gerard Garcin was one of two people with very distinct personalities but who were also knowledgeable and accomplished musicians... »

To Max Loreau (1928 – 1990), the poet and friend whose encounter resulted in several pieces including « in the spur of the moment »


About the encounter with the poet / musician, Luc Morin wrote in the Libre Belgique newspaper « and the music by the composer Gerard Garcin worms its way in what is already rhythm and music for Max Loreau, slips between the words, brings them to life and accompanies them, with contemporary music’s audacity mixed with the bel canto tradition »

One shouldn’t see the past as a historical monument but for the future within it, otherwise one verses into schizophrenia...

This thought by Franco Donatoni was often used as a guide by Gerard Garcin.
In the present case, the past is like a compost from which must emerge a musical thinking. This is why the liturgical texts are respected in their function, and that a reference to Gregorian chant exists.

Several parts borrow from the liturgical texts of the mass for the dead (Romain rite) : opening chant, gradual, trait, de profondis, lux aeternae, in paradisum... They were thoughts for the Maitrise de Colmar (conducted by Arlette Steyer).
As such, the instrumental ensemble supporting the text is not simply there to accompany the voice. By its composition, the ensemble’s nomenclature allows for different sonic colours (harpsichord or positive organ / Theorbo or lute).
Conceived to be heard in places such as the big nave at the Dominicans of Haute Alsace in Guebwiller, the metropolis Notre Dame des Dons in Avignon, this requiem gave rise to the idea of spacialisation. This parameter was considered from the start of the project. The singers, as the cornett, the narrator are the actors of this spacialisation.
The motivation for this spacialisation is directly linked to the past : magic of the echo that the great masters taught us, notably at San Marco in Venice.
The liturgical text is used with rigour, the Gregorian chant finds its place, small indeed but integral to the piece, becoming integrated by sliding or tiling to the author’s musical language : a shifted language but resolutely there for the text.
One exception is made for the Dies irea treated in its French translation. This poem, specific to the mass for the dead, was throughout the years a source of inspiration for composers, including for symphonic pieces. Through its dramatic strength, this text is exceptionally recited and envisaged with a theatrical approach.

« The test » by M. Loreau is the last work by the poet, written shortly before he passed away. In the first part of his work (Transfiguration : what he says), the poet relates his recent illness, dark force, like a shipwreck...

« suddenly the illness
with no warning, blindly brutal
striking like lightning... »

But as in a a dream or in an hereafter, sounds and words appear:

« ... sounds get to me but from far away. They resonate from a vast vacuum...
It is time searching its voice. It takes strange ways. It utters intriguing words... »

The link with the sudden disappearance of a loved one was for me immediate.

Associated with the big organ, the narrative of the text is treated as a chant even if it is spoken word, the obsession with lyricism is still there.

This way two scores, two composition projects merge, clash, for a double hommage



Excerpts :

Excerpt 1     

Excerpt 2     

Excerpt 3     

Recorded during the world premiere: Maitrîse de garçons de Colmar - Arlette Steyer conductor- Pierre Barra narrator.